The CMS Actuary projects that if the AHCA passes into law, the number of uninsured Americans will increase by 13 million by 2026.
Welcome to Practice Rounds, our weekly column exploring what's being covered in the larger world of healthcare.
CMS Actuary: 13 Million Lose Insurance under AHCA
The CMS Actuary, an independent entity within the agency that projects the financial impact of a proposed Medicare legislation, says that if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passes, 13 million more people will be uninsured by 2026. According to Health Affairs, the Actuary's prediction for 2018/2019 is that 4 million more people will be uninsured under the AHCA. While certainly not appealing for the lawmakers trying to sell this bill to the public, the projection is more favorable to the AHCA than the one from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which predicted that the AHCA would increase the uninsured by 14 million for 2018 and 23 million by 2026. However, the CMS Actuary predicts the AHCA would reduce federal Medicaid spending by $383.2 billion, which is significantly less than what the CBO predicted ($834 billion).
A version of the AHCA passed the House a few weeks back and is currently being debated in the Senate. If a revised version passes the Senate, it will go back to the House. If that version passes, it will head to the President Trump's desk.
New President-Elect of AMA
This week, the American Medical Association (AMA) had its annual meeting and elected a new President-elect. Barbara L. McAneny, an oncologist out of Albuquerque, N.M., is the first oncologist to be elected to this position. She will take over next year, from current AMA President, David Barbe, a family physician from Mountain Grove, Mo. "It is a deep honor and privilege to be elected a leader of an organization that is committed to serving as a strong physician voice and a dedicated patient advocate," said Dr. McAneny in a statement. She has served on the AMA Board of Trustees since 2010 and in leadership positions at other regional and national medical advocacy groups.
AMA, Others Will Rally Against AHCA
The AMA, American Hospital Association, AARP and a few other major healthcare advocacy groups will hold events in the coming week, speaking out against the AHCA. The events will be held in Colorado, Nevada, and West Virginia for patients and providers. The first event was held earlier this week in Cleveland and was moderated by Barbe. The events cover four areas where the groups say the AHCA falls short: affordability of insurance, access to essential care, protection for those on Medicaid, and protections for those with employer-sponsored health insurance.
Report: Apple Getting into Clinical Data
Apple is getting into the world of clinical data, according to a report in CNBC. The tech giant has a team of developers and healthcare industry stakeholders working on developing a platform that would host a person's medical records, lab results, and other clinical data. The platform would allow healthcare provider organizations and app developers to host their data. According to the CNBC report, to bolster the potential platform, Apple is looking for potential acquisitions in the cloud hosting space.
Quote of the Week
"When a physician doesn't see a test result, it can be [a poorly designed interface], it could be [the information] wasn't routed correctly, whether the physician wasn't notified of the result being there, or the physician clicks it as seen without actually reviewing it."
- Trish Lugtu, malpractice attorney